The UK is the place where many people – especially those from English-speaking countries – go to get their traveling feet wet. London in particular, partly because it is the international air gateway to the United Kingdom, seems to be the place to be. It makes sense, not least because it is easy to figure the city out and because English speakers do not need to learn a foreign language to visit. The problem is that London is notoriously expensive, and finding cheap hotels in London can be a real trial.
The good news is that London is a big city with a seemingly never-ending supply of hotel rooms. And with a little bit of planning ahead you can get a good deal on a place to sleep – even if you might not call it “cheap” anywhere else on earth, you will see that, relatively speaking, it is probably a cheap hotel in London. Two things you can do to help make sure you do not pay through the nose for a bed are – travel in the low season, and know which neighborhoods are better for budget hotels.
The first thing on that list, traveling in the low season, will help you save money on everything from airfare to hotels, and sometimes tourist attractions and meals as well. London does not really have an “off” season, so there will always be tourists around, but London winters are such that it is not as pleasant to walk around sight-seeing – which means prices are going to be softer. The second thing on that list, knowing which neighborhoods to look at, is what you can get right here!
Among the neighborhoods that, at the moment, seems to have more than its fair share of cheap London hotels is the Kensington neighborhood. It is an up-and-coming area, pretty hip and close to the center, but not as expensive (yet). You can also choose to stay further away from the center of London, which will save you some money on your hotel room but cost you a little more on transportation. Check out the Bloomsbury, St. James and Earl’s Court areas, too. And in addition to the word “hotel,” keep an eye out for B&Bs, or Bed and Breakfasts – the UK in particular is full of them, and they can often provide a cheaper (and more interesting) alternative to hotels.
Some of the budget London hotels you might consider looking into are the Vicarage Hotel and Aster House in the South Kensington neighborhood, or the Academy Hotel and St. Margaret’s Hotel in the Bloomsbury area.